Update, Merry Christmas and Drawings!

To all of you followers who still exist… Thank you. I’m not a very good blogger, am I? Well I have some reasons for my absence. Blatant excuses.
It’s so dark here? As soon as I get home it’s too dark to take photos of anythingwhatsoever.
And also, school is cruel to me, and I’m a total procrastinator, so basically, I spend my free time sitting around eating trying to do my homework and failing and not doing my homework and still spending four hours on it. Every night. I hate homework. Homework is my arch nemesis. I’m not violent, but if homework was something I would kill, I would kill it a million times. I would cast homework into the depths of Tartarus to suffer forever with the titans.
Yeah, I don’t really like homework. Or work. Gimme a ukulele, a piano, a wire cutters and wire, a notebook/sketchbook, a pencil, and an unlimited supply of chai and chocolate and send me to the woods for the rest of my life, then I’d be happy, and productive. There are an unlimited supply of curse words in numerous languages that I would use to describe the education system, all of which too vulgar to use here. Ah well…
So yeah, I’ve not been doing much recently, but I’ve been drawing a good bit, of course. I loooooove drawing.
It’s watching you….

Yeah but I had a good Christmas. I didn’t get too much stuff, thank god. Just the things I actually wanted and needed. Including a HAMMOCK sorry I still can’t handle the fact that this summer I’ll be able to camp hanging between two trees. And I got looooads of books. Good ones. I’m so excited. There’s nature books, some by Tom Brown, basically the most inspiring writer evvvveeeeerrrr, ones about animal folklore, survival guides, and then lots of French books to help me learn, incuding Harry Potter and Greek mythology French books. I’m so excited to read them all, I don’t know where to start.
And oh. Did I mention the chocolate? Thought not. There’s a LOT of chocolate.



A little rant about homework

This is a speech about homework I wrote ages ago for school.

‘Is homework benefiting me in any way?’
This is one of the first questions I asked when I began in school.
Not having done ANY homework in my life before, it seemed like a ridiculous notion to suddenly spend all of my free time doing something boring and labourious, where the positive effects were not to be guaranteed.
I have just missed eight years of homework, not to mention schoolwork, and I am getting on just fine in school. So what has the education system been telling us all our lives?

There is virtually no evidence at all that homework helps us learn. The opposite of that is the conclusion that I make, myself.
For a start, At Tønder Gymnasium in southern Jutland, Denmark, where third-year high school students have not had homework since they started at the school, the graduation rate has grown from 70 percent to 85 percent. The national average is 75 percent. At the same time, grade point averages have risen by 1.1 points on the 7-point grading scale.
Many experts have claimed that homework creates negative energy between students and their teachers and parents. When parents are constantly nagging children it forms a negative relationship. If we did not do homework, this would not be an issue.
So why do we still do homework?

There are some small bits of evidence supporting homework, though.  Studies have shown that homework is of some benefit for students aged 11-13, for exam purposes, but for older students, there is research that shows that more is counterproductive when more than 2 hours of homework is given to them. For younger students, there is very little evidence of it being beneficial, apart from drilling into them the long, tedious chore of homework and study.
This is not sufficient enough proof to show that homework should be such a routinely part of our lives.

My biggest issue is the lack of free time that I have during the day. When I get home, all I want to do is read, bake, play piano, play cello, go walking in the mountains, or simply relax, but I can’t. I usually have lots of homework piled up. I still have to spend 1-2 hours doing homework, spend an hour on the piano, eat, tidy the kitchen, and get to bed in time to be able to open my eyes the next day.
We must have to have some sort of time to spend on our hobbies. If we do not develop our own interests and opinions, what are we going to do when we leave school?

One issue that causes me many problems is the excessive amount of weight on our backs. Books are so heavy that they are causing serious problems in the spinal development of children. For stronger students, perhaps in older years, this may not be such an issue, but for younger students in secondary school, this is a serious issue that may lead to long term back problems. Michael Lynch, who carried out a study on the issue in 2006, noted that a government working group report in 2008 recommended that 12-year-old pupils should carry books weighing no more than 3.7 kg. However, he pointed out that average student of this age has a school bag weighing 11.8 kg. Bags should be at the very most 10% of our body weight.
Just the other day, I had homework in nearly all the subjects I had had throughout the day. When I swung my school bag onto my shoulder, the weight of it pulled me over and every time I tried to stand up, it pulled me down again. I did finally manage to get up, though. For a 30 kilo person like me, carrying a 10 kilo bag is 1/3 of my body weight. That is 3 times more than the recommended amount.

In my opinion, homework should be stripped back to the bare minimums, at the very least. If we spend all of our day in school, why should we spend more time doing schoolwork when we get home?
All evidence clearly points toward homework being an impractical and counterproductive use of our spare time.

School… and stuff.

Oh my. I am so sorry. I only realized that I have not posted in ages and ages. I have no way of getting photos onto the computer at the moment, and I’m working on that one all the time. I think I will bake tonight, as long as the huge amount of science homework given to me earlier does not hold me back from my urgent need to whip up a batch of muffins.

I’m enjoying school so much. Its probably a bad thing, but every day I get to school half an hour earlier than I need to just because I want to get in there. I just hate that even after seven and a half hours in school every day, you STILL need to do an hours homework.
Don’t they teach things well enough in school? I mean, I kind of understand the logic of it a little, but the amount they give is just blatantly stupid. Can’t kids have their own lives without every waking hour spent either eating or doing work? How are we supposed to have hobbies, be artistic, or get out in the woods to spend some time with the earth, when we are stuck inside all evening doing sums that will most likely never help us? I mean. How many years have I spent out of school, doing all the things children should, having fun and not caring about anything, and creating memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life? And how am I doing in school, with eight years of total unschooling in my belt?
Great. I’m at the same level as all the other people in my year. which is a ridiculously small amount. I can do all the subjects with no trouble, apart from Irish, because if my parents ever tried to teach me my own language, after a week I would suffer from an educational lapse and suddenly decide that doing a project on Siberian Lynxes would be a much better way to pass the time.

That’s what happened every year, when before all the other kids went back to school, my mother would say:
“Ok. this year we are actually going to sit down and do some work.”
And every year, it would be halted by my sister and I, pleading that learning is all just a bit of a bore, and yes, we would like to go to the park instead. So that’s what happened. I really did have a great time.